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Racial Equity and Social Justice

Materials selected by IU librarians and members of our community
Zitkala-Sa, Widespread Enigma Concerning Blue-Star Woman (1921)

The Widespread Enigma Concerning Blue-Star Woman

By Yankton Dakota writer and activist Zitkála-Šá (Gertrude Bonnin). Published in American Indian Stories (1921).

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Hisaye Yamamoto, Seventeen Syllables (1949)

Seventeen Syllables

Acclaimed short story about the immigrant experience of Japanese Americans. From the collection of the same name by Hisaye Yamamoto. First published in 1949.

Another print copy

Henry Dumas, Riot or Revolt? (before 1968)

Riot or Revolt?

Story about civil unrest by African American author Henry Dumas (1934-68). First published posthumously in Echo Tree in 2003.

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Alice Walker, Everyday Use (1973)

Everyday Use

Story examining conflict within an African American family by Alice Walker. From the collection In Love and Trouble (1973).

Another print copy

Jamaica Kincaid, At the Bottom of the River (1983)

*At the Bottom of the River

Try any of the stories collected in Jamaica Kincaid's At the Bottom of the River (1983). The stories in this collection depict the challenges of a girl's Caribbean childhood, and often focus on mother-daughter relationships.

Another print copy

Derrick Bell, Faces at the Bottom of the Well (1992)

*Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

Explore Derrick Bell's 1992 collection of fables, allegories, and dialogues about Black struggles, and the permanence of racism, in White America.

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Edwidge Danticat, Children of the Sea (1995)

Children of the Sea

Love story set during the Duvalier regime by Haitian American writer Edwidge Danticat. From the collection Krik? Krak! (1995). 

Another print copy

Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements (2015)

Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements

Short story anthology from 2015 exploring the connections between radical science fiction and movements for social change.

Try "the river" (Adrienne Maree Brown), "Evidence" (Alexis Pauline Gumbs), "Hollow" (Mia Mingus), "Aftermath" (LeVar Burton), and "Children Who Fly" (Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha).

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Nalo Hopkinson, Old Habits (2015)

Old Habits

Ghost story with a difference by Jamaican-born Canadian author Nalo Hopkinson. Published in the collection Falling in Love with Hominids in 2015. E-book.

Helen Oyeyemi, Books and Roses (2016)

Books and Roses

Subversive fairy tale by British author Helen Oyeyemi, from the collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (2016). We also recommend the story "Is Your Blood as Red as This?" from the same collection.

Another print copy

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time (2016)

*Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time

Read any of the stories from this 2016 collection of Indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy writing focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. 

Carmen Maria Machado, The Husband Stitch (2017)

The Husband Stitch

Story about marriage and trauma from the award-winning collection Her Body and Other Parties (2017) by American author Carmen Maria Machado.

Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Belles Lettres (2018)

Belles Lettres

Story told in letters from the 2018 collection Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires. Try "The Body's Defenses Against Itself," from the same collection. 

Souvankham Thammavongsa, How to Pronounce Knife (2020)

How to Pronounce Knife

2020 story by Canadian writer Souvankham Thammavongsa. From the collection of the same name focusing on the lives of Lao immigrants in the Western world. From the same collection, try also "The Universe Would Be So Cruel." E-book.

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Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit & Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction (2020)

Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit & Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction

2020 short story anthology showcasing work by new and emerging 2SQ Indigenous writers from across Turtle Island. E-book.

Try "History of the New World" by Adam Garnet Jones, "How to Survive the Apocalypse for Native Girls" by Kai Minosh Pyle, and Mari Kurisato's "Seed Children."

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* = community suggestion